This post is authored by Anna Reyner, a registered art therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist. Anna is a nationally recognized arts advocate that has conducted over 500 hands-on art workshops for learners of all abilities. Follow Anna’s blog at Art and Creativity in Early Childhood Education.
Special Needs Application:
In addition to fostering imaginative and symbolic thinking, enhancing motor skills, and providing an opportunity to manage sensory issues, art activities support a full range of social emotional benefits particularly as they build self esteem. And what better way to build self esteem than “framing” a child’s work of art!
I stopped in my tracks when I saw these super adorable placemats at the Hollywood Los Feliz JCC. They gave me such a smile! What is it about these clever placemats that draws you in to take a closer look? Is it the playful expression on the children's faces? Or the colorful freestyle painting behind each photo? Or is it the solid construction paper background that frames it all and makes it pop out from the page? I think it's "all of the above"! By using a laminator or clear contact paper to cover each picture, you can use your placemats for the whole year.
Try this sometime and you'll discover a clever new way to identify each child's place setting for lunchtime or snacks. A big thank you to the creative preschool staff of Hollywood Los Feliz Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles.